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      Something Wicked This Way Comes...   10/09/2019

      The Autumn Supporter Giveaway!       Welcome to the very first of the seasonal BCF supporter giveaways! This month also marks one year since I took on the forum, so I want to say an extra huge thank you to all of you for keeping this place going. I have a little bit more to say about that later but, for now, let's get to the giveaway!     The Autumn Giveaway winner will be getting two Penguin Little Black Classics, The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe and To Be Read At Dusk by Charles Dickens. Both of these little books contain three atmospheric short stories, perfect for autumnal evenings. The winner will also get Mary Shelley tea (a lavender and vanilla black tea) from Rosie Lea Tea's Literary Tea Collection (https://www.rosieleatea.co.uk/collections/literary-tea-collection) and a chocolate skull, to really get that spooky atmosphere .   and...   A special treat for a special month. The winner will choose one of the following recent paperback releases from the independent bookshop Big Green Bookshop:       The Wych Elm by Tana French A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan Melmoth by Sarah Perry The Familiars by Stacey Halls  The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White   The winner will be chosen via the usual random selection process in one week. Patreon supporters are entered automatically. If you aren't a patreon supporter but you'd like to join in with this giveaway, you can support here: https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum.   I really hope you're all going to like this introduction to the seasonal giveaways. It's been a lot of fun to put together. Other chocolate skulls may have been harmed during the selection process…     
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Janet

The Elephant Keeper by Christopher Nicholson

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I thought there was a thread for this, but I can't find it.

 

001-2011-Jan-07-TheElephantKeeper.jpg

 

The Elephant Keeper by Christopher Nicholson

 

The ‘blurb’

This, then, is The History of the Elephant, as told by one Thomas Page, Elephant Keeper to Lord Bidborough of Easton, Sussex. Or, put another way, it is the adventures of Tom, the stable boy, and Jenny, the Elephant. It is a story of love, discovery, tragedy and beauty; of the English countryside; of eighteenth-century morality and mores; of the rich and their whims; and of the poor and their burdens. At its heart is the extraordinary friendship and understanding between a young man and a beautiful, intelligent beast. It is as captivating and beguiling as Jenny herself.

 

A love story between an elephant and her keeper seems a highly unlikely premise - and yet it works in this lovely, gentle novel.

 

Tom son of the groom at Harrington Hall stares wide-eyed at Bristol docks as a cargo of two young elephants is unloaded. His master, Mr Harrington makes a snap decision to purchase the elephants, and they are soon resident at the Hall, to the bemusement of the other staff and the irritation of Mr Harrington’s wife.

 

Tom nicknames them Timothy (after his father) and Jenny, and sets about training them. They soon learn to trust him, and reward him by learning quickly and by following Tom’s commands, but as they grow, Timothy becomes harder to handle, until eventually he is sold. Heartbroken and missing him, Tom and Jenny form a deep bond that will last a lifetime.

 

Their time at Harrington Hall is a happy one, but their happiness there doesn’t not last and Jenny is sold and so she, together with Tom, set off for their new home… which is not to be their final destination, and they will have many adventures as they travel though life, and the novel does have its darker moments.

 

This is such a lovely and easy to read story. The characters are well-written and Tom and the elephants are likeable, believable characters. Of course, not all the characters are so pleasant! The story is mainly about Tom’s relationship with Jenny, whom he would do anything to protect. Although they converse, it must all be in Tom’s mind - for elephants can’t communicate - can they?

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Great review Janet, I do like the sound of 'The Elephant Keeper', I keep seeing it in Tescos, I will pick it up next time I am in, thanks for another fab recommendation :)

Edited by Weave

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